As a result of the recent recommendations of the ICRP 60, and in anticipation of possible regulation on occupational exposure of Canadian-based aircrew, an extensive study was carried out by the Royal Military College of Canada over a one-year period to measure the cosmic radiation at commercial jet altitudes. A tissue-equivalent proportional counter was used to measure the ambient total dose equivalent rate on 62 flight routes, resulting in over 20,000 data points at one-minute intervals at various altitudes and geomagnetic latitudes (i.e. which span the full cut-off rigidity of the Earth's magnetic field). These data were then compared to similar experimental work at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt, using a different suite of equipment, to measure separately the low and high linear energy transfer components of the mixed radiation field, and to predictions with the LUIN transport code. All experimental and theoretical results were in excellent agreement. From these data, a semiempirical model was developed to allow for the interpolation of the dose rate for any global position, altitude and date (i.e. heliocentric potential). Through integration of the dose rate function over a great circle flight path, a computer code was developed to provide an estimate of the total dose equivalent on any route worldwide at any period in the solar cycle.
As a result of the recent recommendations of the ICRP-60 and in anticipation of possible regulation on occupational exposure of commercial aircrew, a two-phase investigation was carried out over a 1-y period to determine the total dose equivalent on representative Canadian-based flight routes. In the first phase of the study, dedicated scientific flights on a Northern round-trip route between Ottawa and Resolute Bay provided the opportunity to characterize the complex mixed-radiation field and to intercompare various instrumentation using both a conventional suite of powered detectors and passive dosimetry. In the second phase, volunteer aircrew carried (passive) neutron bubble detectors during their routine flight duties. From these measurements, the total dose equivalent was derived for a given route with a knowledge of the neutron fraction as determined from the scientific flights and computer code (CARI-3C) calculations. This study has yielded an extensive database of over 3,100 measurements providing the total dose equivalent for 385 different routes. By folding in flight frequency information and the accumulated flight hours, the annual occupational exposures of 20 flight crew have been determined. This study has indicated that most Canadian-based domestic and international aircrew will exceed the proposed annual ICRP-60 public limit of 1 mSv y(-1) but will be well below the occupational limit of 20 mSv y(-1).
Measurements using bubble detectors have been performed in order to characterise the neutron dose and energy spectrum in the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS). Experiments using bubble dosemeters and a bubble-detector spectrometer, a set of six detectors with different energy thresholds that is used to determine the neutron spectrum, were performed during the ISS-22 (2009) to ISS-33 (2012) missions. The spectrometric measurements are in good agreement with earlier data, exhibiting expected features of the neutron energy spectrum in space. Experiments using a hydrogenous radiation shield show that the neutron dose can be reduced by shielding, with a reduction similar to that determined in earlier measurements using bubble detectors. The bubble-detector data are compared with measurements performed on the ISS using other instruments and are correlated with potential influencing factors such as the ISS altitude and the solar activity. Surprisingly, these influences do not seem to have a strong effect on the neutron dose or energy spectrum inside the ISS.
Bubble detectors have been used to characterise the neutron dose and energy spectrum in several modules of the International Space Station (ISS) as part of an ongoing radiation survey. A series of experiments was performed during the ISS-34, ISS-35, ISS-36 and ISS-37 missions between December 2012 and October 2013. The Radi-N2 experiment, a repeat of the 2009 Radi-N investigation, included measurements in four modules of the US orbital segment: Columbus, the Japanese experiment module, the US laboratory and Node 2. The Radi-N2 dose and spectral measurements are not significantly different from the Radi-N results collected in the same ISS locations, despite the large difference in solar activity between 2009 and 2013. Parallel experiments using a second set of detectors in the Russian segment of the ISS included the first characterisation of the neutron spectrum inside the tissue-equivalent Matroshka-R phantom. These data suggest that the dose inside the phantom is ~70% of the dose at its surface, while the spectrum inside the phantom contains a larger fraction of high-energy neutrons than the spectrum outside the phantom. The phantom results are supported by Monte Carlo simulations that provide good agreement with the empirical data.
A survey of the natural background dose equivalent received by Canadian Forces aircrew was conducted using neutron-sensitive bubble detectors (BDs) as the primary detection tool. Since this study was a new application for these detectors, the BD response to neutron dose equivalent (RD) was extended from thermal to 500 MeV in neutron energy. Based upon the extended RD, it was shown that the manufacturer's calibration can be scaled by 1.5 +/- 0.5 to give a BD sensitivity that takes into account recently recommended fluence-to-neutron dose equivalent conversion functions and the cosmogenic neutron spectrum encountered at jet altitudes. An investigation of the effects of systematic bias caused by the cabin environment (i.e., temperature, pressure and relative humidity) on the in-flight measurements was also conducted. Both simulated and actual aircraft climate tests indicated that the detectors are insensitive to the pressure and relative humidity variations encountered during routine jet aircraft operations. Long term conditioning tests also confirmed that the BD-PND model of detector is sensitive to variations in temperature to within +/- 20%. As part of the testing process, the in-flight measurements also demonstrated that the neutron dose equivalent is distributed uniformly throughout a Boeing 707 jet aircraft, indicating that both pilots and flight attendants are exposed to the same neutron field intensity to within experimental uncertainty.
As a result of the recent recommendations of ICRP 60 and in anticipation of possible regulation on occupational exposure of commercial aircrew, a two-part investigation was carried out over a one-year period to determine the total dose equivalent on representative Canadian-based flight routes. As part of the study, a dedicated scientific measurement flight (using both a conventional suite of powered detectors and passive dosimetry) was used to characterise the complex mixed radiation field and to intercompare the various instrumentation. In the other part of the study, volunteer aircrew carried (passive) neutron bubble detectors during their routine flight duties. From these measurements, the total dose equivalent was derived for a given route with a knowledge of the neutron fraction as determined from the scientific flight and computer code (CARI-LF) calculations. This investigation has yielded an extensive database of over 3100 measurements providing the total dose equivalent for 385 different routes. By folding in flight frequency information and the accumulated flight hours, the annual occupational exposures of 26 flight crew have also been determined. This study has indicated that most Canadian-based domestic and international aircrew will exceed the proposed annual ICRP 60 public limit of 1 mSv.y-1, but will he well below the occupational limit of 20 mSv.y-1.
An analytical exercise was initiated in order to determine those procedures with the capability to measure total uranium and uranium (238U/235U) isotopic ratios in urine samples containing >0.02 microg U kg-1 urine. A host laboratory prepared six identical sets of twelve synthetic urine samples containing total uranium in the range of 25 to 770 ng U kg-1 urine and with 238U/235U isotopic ratios ranging from 138 (100% NU) to 215 (51% DU). Sets of samples were shipped to five testing laboratories (four based in Canada and one based in Europe). Each laboratory utilized one of the following analytical techniques: sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-SF-MS), quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-Q-MS), thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), and instrumental/delayed neutron activation analysis (I/DNAA), in their analyses.
An on-going investigation using a tissue-equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) has been carried out to measure the ambient dose equivalent rate of the cosmic radiation exposure of aircrew during a solar cycle. A semi-empirical model has been derived from these data to allow for the interpolation of the dose rate for any global position. The model has been extended to an altitude of up to 32 km with further measurements made on board aircraft and several balloon flights. The effects of changing solar modulation during the solar cycle are characterised by correlating the dose rate data to different solar potential models. Through integration of the dose-rate function over a great circle flight path or between given waypoints, a Predictive Code for Aircrew Radiation Exposure (PCAIRE) has been further developed for estimation of the route dose from galactic cosmic radiation exposure. This estimate is provided in units of ambient dose equivalent as well as effective dose, based on E/H x (10) scaling functions as determined from transport code calculations with LUIN and FLUKA. This experimentally based treatment has also been compared with the CARI-6 and EPCARD codes that are derived solely from theoretical transport calculations. Using TEPC measurements taken aboard the International Space Station, ground based neutron monitoring, GOES satellite data and transport code analysis, an empirical model has been further proposed for estimation of aircrew exposure during solar particle events. This model has been compared to results obtained during recent solar flare events.
A transport code analysis using Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended code, MCNPX, has been used to propagate an extrapolated particle spectrum based on satellite measurements through the atmosphere to estimate radiation exposure during solar storms at high altitudes. Neutron monitor count rate data from stations around the world were used to benchmark the model calculations during a ground-level event (GLE). A comparison was made between the model predictions and actual flight measurements taken with various types of instruments used to measure the mixed radiation field during GLE 60. A computer code has been developed to implement the model for routine analysis.